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preference for, preference in, in preference to

One has a preference for one choice over another.

  • Zita enjoys mysteries but has a preference for spy novels set in eastern Europe.

One has a preference in, meaning “favourite.”

  • What is Alma’s preference in exotic foods?

The phrase in preference to, which introduces an option that has been rejected, can be replaced by the preposition over.

  • The officer chose undercover drug investigations in preference to (or over) international security.

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